On Wednesday we reported a grave traffic accident on Baghdad Street, Belize City, in which 19 year old Boyd Lopez of Regent Street West was accused of gravely injuring 70 year old retired educator Marie Knowles, when he knocked her down after losing control of a Toyota Highlander SUV around 1:30 in the afternoon. Mrs. Knowles was taken to the hospital with head trauma and other injuries, and police confirmed on Friday that Marie Knowles died around 3:30 Thursday afternoon, from her injuries.
On Friday Boyd Lopez was read charges of manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct in connection with her death before Magistrate Herbert Panton. He also faces charges of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, and driving a motor vehicle while not holding a valid driver’s license. The offences are to be tried on indictment in the Supreme Court and so no plea was taken.
Boyd Lopez is also accused, but not charged, with failing to render assistance and fleeing the scene of an accident, during which he collided into a fence on Baghdad Street and broke two water pipes, before hitting the back of a Mitsubishi Montero vehicle parked on the street.
Mr Lopez was released on bail of $5,000 and returns to court on April 17.
Boyd Lopez works for Maria Chang and Sons as a warehouse attendant, and police are said to be considering whether they should charge his boss, a Chinese businessman, for allowing someone to drive his vehicle without a license. The teenaged driver told police that the vehicle, which has automatic transmission, was stuck in gear and he couldn’t control it.